Reflux affecting baby's development?(19 Posts)
Hello all - DS is 10 weeks old and has reflux. He has Gaviscon in his bottles, but mainly we manage it by lifestyle changes, basically by never lying him down flat which always leads to crying and nasty cottage-cheese sick, even 2 hours after a feed.
My concern is that he will not be able to develop the full range of movements that he needs. After a feed, I have to keep him properly upright (usually on my knee or shoulder) for 15/20 mins. Then he can sit in a baby chair which is at a 45 degree angle or occassionally he can lie on a wedge and play. Trouble is, he really likes his naps and he gets tired long before I can get him lay flat/do tummy time.
Any advice/opinions/experiences/general comments will be most gratefully received.
What are you worried about his development? Is it the tummy time?
DD had reflux and tummy time resulted in sick flying across the room! I only did it the once
I really wouldn't worry about tummy time
Honestly, try not to worry too much. Babies tend to do developmental leaps in tiny bursts, so will go from not being able to roll over at all to confident front and back rolling in around a week.
The main thing is to lessen any distress of the reflux by doing exactly what you are doing. As his reflux subsides, and he has more alert time, so he will have the oppurtunity to spend time on his tummy and back.
At 6mo dd couldnt roll, sit up unaided or get onto her hands and knees. Within a month she was crawling. It really is staggering how quick they learn something when they are ready too.
Try not to worry, my second son had it terribly and we didn't get a diagnosis until he was 17 weeks which was horrific.
He's now 8 months, crawling, racing around and we need to put the cot down today as he's trying to leap over the bars!
He is also now a happy, smily and content little boy wheras he had a very unhappy start.
Try not to worry. I have 14mo twins and DS was hideously refluxy. I have blocked out how many hours he spent sat upright in a bouncy chair crying while I dealt with the other one.
He rolled early (actually as soon as he could sleep on his tummy he slept so much better), crawled pretty quickly, was walking before 11 months corrected, and is the most physical baby I've ever met. The more mobile and active he got the better his reflux got too.
Do look into lactose intolerance though - it was the solution for us and I wish we'd considered it much earlier.
If you carry him upright in a sling that will help his reflux, AND it counts as tummy time as they are using core and neck muscles. Babies also tend to nap really well in slings cwtched up against mum.
Most babies I know who have been carried in slings a lot rather than given tummy time have walked much earlier than usual (9-10 months, and cruising 8-9 months)
Dd had reflux too and always wanted to be upright - and she developed pretty normally, sitting at 6 months, crawling at 9 and walking by 12. We never did 'tummy time' as she hated it and eventually learned to flip herself onto her back pretty quick. She loved being carried in a sling, and hated the pram - I recommend one for out and about if you haven't already got one.
It's horrible watching them suffer but it's all a distant memory now, I think dd's reflux got gradually better from about 4/5 months.
DD is 3.3, finally came off meds about 4m ago (still has reflux but usually swallows it back down, only sick once or twice a week now).
It was absolutely horrendous as a baby, upwards of 200 vomits a day. There was no way she could do tummy time, she would be sick and collapse face down in her own vomit, which she'd then inhale.
She was rolling at around 5-6 weeks, sitting upright by herself by 5m (guess she'd had a lot of practice at being upright!), crawling around 9m, I think, cruising around 10-11m. 'First steps' were around then but we were never sure if they were gravity-assisted... First proper walking was on her first birthday in front of both parents and GPs. She's always been an attention-seeker.
She loves football, scooting, swimming, etc. Today she's walked 3 miles. No physical development issues due to reflux whatsoever. (She also had a year's physio for torticollis, often linked with reflux, and again no lasting consequences).
DS is 8m, also reflux, also couldn't/didn't do tummy time. He was sitting at 4m, pulling himself up to standing before 6m, he's been both cruising and crawling for a month or so now and can stand up by himself from sitting and stay standing for a few seconds.
I don't think we have future Olympic champions in the making, I just think that having reflux is a pretty powerful incentive to get yourself upright as soon as possible. Tummy time is vastly overrated in these circumstances.
I second (third? fourth?) the sling/carrier. Get yourself a machine washable one and preferably one that dries quickly. I have several . The Connecta's my favourite for ease of use and speed of drying. Buckles are the way forward when the baby vomits inside the carrier. Trying to extricate DD from 8ft of material when she was choking on her own puke is not a good memory (though stretchy wraps can also double up as enormous muslins when necessary).
Bumbos are useful too, helping them to sit upright before they can do it themselves. Try propping up the head end of the cot. We use bed blocks www.babyreflux.co.uk/products/Baby-Bed-Blocks.html for both DC. Wedges are pretty useless with babies, they just slide down them or worse, end up upside down.
Good luck. It does get better. DD now cleans up after herself and her brother .
I wanted to add, my first son didn't have any problems with reflux but he hated tummy time. I'd try and he'd just scream and upset himself, so when the HV asked I'd just nod, smile and say "oh yes, every day". As soon as he was able to roll himself on to his tummy he was OK with it, but I didn't see any point forcing him to be on his tummy if he hated it - and of course his physical development has been totally normal.
We were in a children's hospital for a bit after the birth and all the cots were tilted to an angle as the babies all had reflux (because of the meds they were on). You could ask your health visitor/doctor about that as it might help you to lie him down for a nap.
As for tummy time, we couldn't get ours on his tummy for ages as he went nuclear as soon as he was on his front. Try not to worry about it. In fact, because he wouldn't lie down he ended up sitting on his own really early. They all get there in the end, just sometimes in different orders and some are quicker than others.
Oh my goodness thank you so much everyone who has replied - I feel a lot better. Unfortunately he really hates the slings (he also hates being swaddled and cuddled - apparently I was the same!). The main this I worry about is simply that he can't lie on his back to play. I have a wedge but as he slips down it or tries to shuffle off it - mind you it is better than changing his nappy propped with the changing mat propped at an angle - wee-waterfall anyone? I've propped the cot up (moved from Moses basket pretty quickly as the crap mattress put him at an awful angle) and it has really helped, although our much cheaper cot blocks are Next catalogues .
wingdingdong We have also had a Tort queried - he seems to have full range of movement and he has been able to hold his head straight from birth, but when asleep or lying back on a baby rocker he holds his head at that funny angle and always to the same side - on every photo he has his head the same. We can't turn it at all because he fights it... I had no idea it was linked to reflux - HV is going to review it at the 3 month check. Also how did you get DD lay down long enough to roll at 6 weeks? I'd love to let him try...
Thanks again everyone.
Purplelooby - DD also hated slings at first but if you can get them used to them they really are a godsend - you've probably tried, but just to check - did you try going briskly for an outside walk as soon as he is in the sling? I had to do this for the first week, and then it was easy peasy
rainbows wierdly he quite liked them at first and then he just decided one day to fight and scream! I've got a material one and a structured one which he prefers. He does like it if I go outside walking with it, but as soon as I stop he just fights and screams again. I think he just hates being restrained...
I was going to suggest Next directories too
Can I add my voice to the chorus of don't worries? Had the same issue with ds2 who is now 6. I can't tell you he walked early cause he didn't but it was at about the same time as his non-refluxy brothers, which suggests to me it was about the time he was meant to. He was the only one of my 3 to crawl and the first to pull himself up to standing too.
Make sure you are looking after yourself, dealing with a refluxy baby is exhausting.
I was really interested to hear about the "fixed position" for sleeping being caused by reflux. My son only ever slept with his face to the left and he was about 18 weeks when I realised with horror that his skull/face was wonky. I knew deep down that as soon as he was mobile it would fix itself but I was terrified that I'd done something awful. And it was, as soon as he really started moving around it started to heal and now at 8 months only we can see it still needs a bit to go (grandparents haven't noticed).
The hospital said they could give us physio to teach him to sleep in a particular position but I didn't think this would be worth it given that as soon as he was mobile he'd either sleep in a better position or remove himself from the good position.
We've been told we've got until he's about 18 months for the skull to fully go to "normal" and I'm confident it will. Failing that he's going to rock his 'fro.
My DD (5) has reflux diagnosed at 4 weeks. She slept propped on my arm for months, was carried in a sling etc. She had no tummytime on the floor until she could roll onto her back herself. She crawled and sat a little later than her friends (10months and 7 months) but was walking at 13 months and walking around and into town at 15 months.
dolomites - DS also has this wonky face and head thing going on At the moment it's not so bad (only my and DH can really tell) but I reckon it's going to get worse so I hope he starts moving about soon! LMAO about rockin' the fro
He is only 10 wks, the reflux may well settle or improve quickly anyway. Sleep is THE most important part of development at this age so getting the best position for sleep is the priority.
Although, dont discount laying your ds on his tummy as long as you are there to oserve of course.
My ds2 was very prem & laying him on his tummy actually helped his tummy absorb his milk, it was common practice in SCBU to help babies settle.
Obviously he was on monitors etc so not advising that you put your baby to sleep on their tummy but dont automatically assume that reflux equals no tummy time.
DS is 10yrs old now, still suffers with severe reflux & digestive problems & still finds laying on his tummy the most comfortable position
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